Invercargill boy left near-blind after school slingshot incident

Nine year old Kane Robinson had a rock flung in his face from a slingshot, his mother says.
Nine year old Kane Robinson had a rock flung in his face from a slingshot, his mother says. Photo credit: Supplied.

A nine year old Invercargill boy has been left nearly blind in one eye after being shot in the face with a slingshot at school, the boys mother says. 

Nicola Taylor told Newshub that her son, Kane Robinson, had a rock in a slingshot flung at him by another child while at New River School on December 11. 

The school staffer called her informing her of the incident.

She said they were not "panicking or anything" but thought Kane may need to go to hospital to be checked out.

Ms Taylor came to school immediately and then took Kane to hospital.

"I got a hell of a shock, he couldn't even open the bloody thing, his eye was all black and covered in blood," she said.

"I thought... he's going to lose his eye."

Kane, who is epileptic among other medical conditions, probably did not even know what was going on, she added.

"He doesn't understand when he is in danger."

Once in hospital, doctors found there were no foreign objects in his eye. Ms Taylor said they were going to be operate on him but feared, due to his epilepsy, it could cause him to seizure.

Instead, from December 11 to December 23, Kane was having daily hospital visits to check on his eye and on December 27, he underwent surgery to remove what turned out to be blood sitting at the back of his left eye, his mum said.

Kane can see but only at close range and is expected to have more surgeries - lense correction and cataract surgeries. 

"The vision he has is tunnel vision," Ms Taylor said. 

"He can see a little bit, all about a foot in front of him."

She said he would be going to a new school this year.

Stuff reported that a statement from the school's board of trustees said the school had sincere concerns for Kane's wellbeing. 

"The board and staff were all devastated about the incident that happened to Kane." 

School staff offered to take Kane directly to the hospital themselves, but Ms Taylor opted to pick him up herself, the statement said. 

School staff members were unaware a slingshot had been brought to the school and it is in conflict with the school's health and safety policy, the statement said.

The school had informed Work Safe and the Ministry of Education. 

Ms Taylor told Newshub while she was disappointed in how the school had handled the incident, she was more disappointed that there had been no contact from the family of the boy who fired the slingshot. 

"I think I'm more angry at the little bugger who did it.

"There has been no contact - not even a letter or anything from the family.

"I know there is two sides to every story but I just haven't heard from the other side." 

Ms Taylor wanted to tell her story to prevent other families having to go through a similar ordeal. 

"I don't want [this to happen] to another poor child.

"These [slingshots] actually are weapons, don't allow your children to have them, and if they do they should be locked away."

The police had been contacted about the incident, she said. 

A police media spokesperson informed Newshub that Southland police had filed a report on the incident.

Police spoke to both young people involved, and that their parents and Police Youth Aid had been advised.

There would be no criminal liability due to the child's age.